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Preview: Emirates Cup 2009

Good morning Gooners. I only have one preview on the weekend`s festivities for you all as my girlfriend has me going to the theatre Saturday night so I won`t have time to type one up for match day two. I figure since I didn`t even ask her if she wanted to go either days of the Emirates Cup, I better get myself down to the Phantom of the Opera Saturday night without a single complaint. It`s her first time in London, and she has been on my last nerve this week doing all the tourism nonsense in Westminster and Waterloo. For all I`ve put up with, I reckon I deserve a medal, a pat on the back, or at least two afternoons by myself enjoying the Arsenal. I guess since it`s her first time in the city, I should give her a break because everyone`s first time is supposed to be special, right?

Anyways, enough about my troubles, onto the weekend`s football! There has been a French, Scottish, and Spanish invasion of N5. (Especially these people decked in blue, who, I`ve been told, are actually speaking English, much to my disbelief. I sure can`t understand them ;) ) The teams invited don`t have the same prestigious appeal as Juventus and Real Madrid did last year, but nevertheless, I`m more excited about this year`s Cup than last years for several reasons. This year`s edition has to be the biggest test for the Arsenal squad since its conception three years ago. This is largely due to the fact we are not participating in the Amsterdam Tournament the following weekend.

There are so many questions looming around Ashburton Grove before the trip to Everton on the 15th. Hopefully some of these will be partly answered by Sunday night. How will the Gallas, Vermaelen partnership look against top class opposition? Will Rosicky and Eduardo get much needed minutes in preparation for their full comebacks? How will we lineup for most of our games next season? Will Arsene continue with a 4-5-1/4-3-3 or will he revert back to his favoured 4-4-2? All these questions and many more will be vital in determining how Arsenal performs next season. There is so much promise in this squad, yet so many undecided factors will affect how next season goes for Arsene`s 'not so young` Guns.

Pre-Tournament Quotes:

Wenger had this to say on the tournament: "I believe first of all it`s always the first gathering with our fans," the manager explained to Arsenal.com. "I personally enjoy the two days immensely and it`s a good opportunity to see how far we are in our preparation and how fit our players are. I also enjoy it because it`s always enjoyable games in a good climate without pressure. It`s the final firework of the preparation with a relaxed atmosphere, without too much pressure."

Arsene also had kind words to say about the Scottish fans: "We expect the Scots to come down. You know when they come to England they are always fired up. It could be a different style this year but it could be even more interesting."

The Professor then went on to talk about all our visitors: "It`s interesting because PSG have a good team, Rangers I know a little bit less because I didn`t see them a lot last year and Atletico Madrid had a good side last season going forward. Atletico were very impressive last year with Forlan and Aguero in attack. It looks to be an offensive festival this year."

Rangers manager, Walter Smith, praised Arsene`s Wenger management tactics: 'If you take into account the things Arsene has won, he has achieved a lot and handled his club very well financially,' Smith told Rangers News. "When you consider they were building a new stadium and their outgoings were restricted by that, they have done very well. They haven't had the luxury of being able to spend the same amounts of money the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have spent. Arsene has done a fantastic job there to keep his team in touch with those other three and to keep producing a high level of football."

Interesting Fact

If there is a tie on points at the top of the group on Sunday, the winner will be decided by who has the most shots on target. The Club had a contest and fans sent in suggestions about how to decide the tournament, and after many ideas being submitted a panel, including Arsene, decided shots on target would be best because it would encourage attacking play. Here is what the club had to say about some of the suggestions:

"The suggestions for the 'deciding rule` ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. More conventional ideas such as fastest goal, corners won and a penalty shoot-out were suggested. While entries like a crossbar challenge, a coin toss and even a rock/paper/scissors clash between the managers were also discussed."

Personally I`d like to see the rock/paper/scissors idea. I can hear it now: 'Oooohh it's all over! Wenger pulled a rabbit out the hat with paper beating rock. And Arsenal win the cup". It will go down in history with other famous commentaries like "It`s up for grabs now", "Adams charging through the midfield", and "Henryyy. What a goal! Inspiration."

Arsenal Team News

Usually Arsenal`s squad players and a couple of starters play on Saturday, and three more starters come on as substitutions. Then on Sunday , we get a glimpse at Arsene`s master plan. I`ll bet a fiver that Denilson plays substantial minutes both days. As Stewart Robson loves to point out in all our preseason broadcasts, the Brazilian is an ever-present component of any Arsenal team nowadays.

Just like a non-existent Eduardo injury was disproved, an injury to Tomas Rosicky has been reported and corrected in the space of 12 hours on Thursday as well. Both will play a part in the Emirates Cup. Gael Clichy will get a run out as well. Vermaelen and Traore picked up slight injuries against Hannover but are listed as probable. Vermaelen, in particular, should play as he didn`t want to come off the field Wednesday but was taken off anyways as a precaution.

As I write this Eboue is still an Arsenal player because his deal to the Viola has stalled it seems. We might see him this weekend, but I don't expect to because Arsene probably won't want to risk him. I doubt we'll see him again until a possible Play Off match against Fiorentina in the Champions League. We`re bound to play a big name and you all know it. Samir Nasri is out of course with a broken leg, and Carlos Vela has only just returned from the Americas so he won`t play either. Walcott and Gibbs have only had four days of training so they too will not be on the pitch. Diaby has suffered a knee strain and is out for the tournament. Arsene said the gangly Frenchman will be back for Valencia.

Arsenal Player to Watch: Everyone!

Like I said in the intro, there are so many questions all over the pitch for Arsenal, and I cannot bring myself to pinpoint one to watch. I`m sure you`ll do just fine without my crap advice on who`s important for us.

PSG Player to Watch: Mamadou Sakho

I don`t know many PSG players, and unless you`re a defensive mid enthusiast, I doubt anyone will find much joy in closely watching Makelele. So why not watch 'Marmaduke` Sakho. We have been closely linked with him for over a year now, but it has only been smoke so far. He was the captain at PSG at the young age of 19, so he`s obviously talented. He`ll need to be at his best to stop Forlan, Aguero, Ashavin, and van Persie.

Atletico Madrid Player to Watch: Sergio Aguero

This is a no doubt. Aguero is one of the top ten talents in football at the moment. He`s not a top ten player yet, but his pure talent certainly puts butts in seats. I`m excited to see him in person. His partnership with Forlan can cause any defence troubles.

Rangers Player to Watch: Kenny Miller

Kenny is a very talented striker who is enjoying his second stint in the blue half of Glasgow. He was rubbish at Derby, but hey every player was rubbish at that poor club that year. (I still feel sorry for their amazing fans, who had to deal with that dross on display at Pride Park) Miller scored a goal every three games for Rangers last season in the SPL, and his finishing will need to be at its best if Rangers are to lift the cup.

Upcoming Fixtures

The next match is Arsenal`s last preseason rendezvous and it is on August 8th against Valencia at the Mestalla. Hopefully Villa and Silva are still at the Spanish club so our new defence can be tested even more. Then after an ill placed international break Arsenal opens against Everton at Goodison Park on the 15th.

Well that`s all for me. Enjoy the weekend and all its preseason glory. I, for one, can`t wait to go to the Grove on Saturday. Have a good one.




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday July 31 2009

Time: 8:18AM

Your Comments

Cheers for the info Brice. The thought of seeing the boys tomorrow is getting too much for me. I am about to strip naked and run around the office, masturbating profusely. Here I go.....!!!!!!!
CockneyRich1
Can't wait to go either. Going to make the trip on Sunday for the Rangers game! Woohoo! 8-)
flv
I do that every Friday Rich. The office really should be more specific about "dress down Friday" if you ask me.
Little Dutch
Sometimes it sucks being an Arsenal fan in Australia, but then i look around at all the beautiful women and it sort of makes me feel better. I hope to see a couple of goals for Eduardo, some fancy play from Cesc and RVP, a bit of magic from The Russian and Gallas and Vermaelen keeping clean sheets and a tight organised defense at the back. Go The Arsenal!
FuiKaka
They don't call it dress down Friday for nothing!!! I'm looking forward to seeing Athletico (as well as us tomorrow). I think the Rangers game will give us a good Physical test too. I'll be interested to see how Ramsey gets on as he's had a good pre-season so far. I'd like to see Djourou alongside Gallas too as I'd like to see them start the season together (in a non romantic way)!
navydave
Maybe if it was in a romantic way, they'd communicate better?
FuiKaka
Good point FuiKaka, and you do paint a beautiful picture. What will happen with the whole Djourou / Gallas / Senderos ' love triangle ' thing ?? If you add Vermaelen to the equation, Graeme Norton will be buying a season ticket !!!
CockneyRich1
.....sitting next to Matt Lucas now he's single again!
navydave
Haha alright guys enough, we already have enough Ars(e) in our team ;)
FuiKaka
Have fun Brice and all the guys who're going to the Grove. Makes me miss London...
GoonerLou
Thanks Lou. Arsene just gave a injury update. Like I said in the article, the Rosicky 'injury' was bad reporting. Him and Clichy will play. Diaby won't play as he has a knee injury, and Eboue might play since his deal to the Viola has stalled.
gunnerkid107
The ground is beautiful lads and compared to Wembley and the time it took to build that ? thumbs up....is it a 5* approved UEFA stadia like Ibrox ? If you have never been up to Ibrox it is worth a look, the stadium is excellent and not a blind spot in it, it's compact and the noise is unreal...maybe we will be in the same CL Groups ? All the best and lets make this a party atmosphere and some great fitbaw for the fans eh ! 12,000 Gers are down to make a noise - so let's party lads !
costablancabear
BY THE WAY - KENNY MILLER - PLAYER TO WATCH ? sorry lads wrong call - Kris Boyd is a preditor in front of goal and will score if given a chance but players to watch are Aaron Ninguez the two footed winger with lightning pace and skills - also John Fleck and Beasley if fit.....Kev Thomson is back from 8 months out and is labelled to be the next Brian McLair or Iain Durrant....also Steve Davis and Kyle Lafferty are dangerous when on form - so you have quite a lot to handle lads and Kenny is more of a fringe player these days mate !
costablancabear
COSTA emailed this to me on my phone as I am on my way to finding the ground BUT we laughed when the write up named Kenny Miller as the main threat ff's Andrius Velicka is one to be wary of if fit as is Naisy and Fleck...if Aaron plays he will dazzle you with his pace and tricky feet - he will be worth 10 million within a year although he is only 18 now, he is Spain's next big thing - Novo, Lafferty,Thommo etc are all coming on leaps and bounds and I look forward to this match and a sing song with you lot ! Good luck and lets make this a regular thing lads .
ChelseaGer
KRIS BOYD scored a goal a game last season - he maybe missed the odd game but was the SPL top scorer - so how can Miller be more of a threat dudes...anyway I know you show no interest in us up in Bonnie Scotland BUT believe me when I say the Rangers are coming back with a bang - We arra Peeeepil - Follow on.
ChelseaGer
HAHAHAHA! Arsenal fans know your team better than you!
Tom14
anyone got a link?
MeetTheGunners
breaking news... Rosicky is good and we've missed him ;)
TPowell
What's the score guys?!
Dan_83
0-0
TPowell
What's the score guys?
Dan_83
What's the score guys?
Dan_83
It's IN!!!!! Cesc turns a defender, goes back a bit and sends in a cross, Arshavin volleys it in!!! :D
GoonerLou
Damn, 1-1. Typical isn't it? lol Our CB's are nowhere to be seen when someone (who?) sends in a defence-splitting pass, from which Pacheco, clear on goal, calmly puts it in. It's a beautiful through ball, just sucks when the defence is ours when he does the brilliant "defence-splitting" bit.
GoonerLou
Oh my goodness, what a goal!!! Guys, you must find the highlights online. It's a high ball in, AA rushes onto it, beating the Atletico keeper, gets a touch (it felt like that in real time, didn't even look like a proper shot) right on the byline, and it's IN!!! Crazy tight angle, like 0 degree, and the balll somehow crosses the white line and hits the corner!!! :D
GoonerLou
its 2-1 Lou? haha we must be getting a delayed feed here in the US... way to ruin it for me... ;)
TPowell
Young Jack had a very good game.
Armory
When we played hamburg, I turned the game on a bit late, and the first thing i see is Robin's throughball which Cesc converted. Today, I turn the game on after coming home to see a replay of Atletico's goal and then Arsh score! I certainly can't afford to miss a minute this season!
ArsenalRob
This game was shown live in Malaysia and what a performance by Jack Wishere...he really lit up the team in the 2nd half...Arshavin 2nd goal was pure class...overall decent game by the gunners, could have been better however must be pleased with the win...
jess_farenesh
I really think this 433 will be a big hit next season. Fabregas and Denilson with another player (AM/DM depending on the match) with the two wingers and RvP/Eduardo up top. Who agrees with me that Wilshere should be preferred to Walcott if both fit?
Tom14
Tom, I hardly saw the game today. Did we play 4-3-3 the whole 90 mins? Also, other than the goal we conceded, how did Gallas and Djourou play together?
ArsenalRob
it the first half RVP was all alone up front, and Bendtner was useless on the wing... I don't think we should get too carried away with the 433 just yet
TPowell
DID EBOUE PLAY UP FRONT?!
ArsenalRob
yes he most certainly did
TPowell
Good to see us play more like the Arsenal of a few seasons back - less reliance on the long ball and speculative crosses and much cleverer interchange and movement. Rosicky looks promising - I'd forgotten how inventive he can be - hope we can keep him fit as he could make a big difference to the season.
Amos.
Tom14 I do.
Armory
Gallas / Djourou was ok, but one great pass caught them out.
Tom14
That's right Amos. I thought Rosicky, Wilshere and Arshavin looked very creative and they're the main guys who gave us glimpses of the good old Wengerball today. Cesc also had his good moments, considering he came back later than the other guys. I seriously think our main issue isn't with quality but injury record now. Just imagine the team selection headache a full squad would give Arsene!
GoonerLou
Mr Andrei Arshavin, I worship at your temple and weep openly in your wonder. You made my long journey very worthwhile. Also, arise Sir Jack Wilshere. You, young man, are very good at football.
CockneyRich1
Just got back from the matches. Getting drenched on the way back to the Arsenal underground was well worth it. How good is Tomas Rosicky? He was brilliant and I thought he was onside for his wonderful goal. Jack looked real good, and I'm sure he'll get his chance this season. Arshavin did absolutely nothing for the twenty minutes he was on the pitch, but he got two goals! Just like Anfield. I don't even remember him touching the ball. As for the Madrid goal. It happened so fast we didn't know what happened. All I remember is I was cheering the announcement that Jack Wilshere had been given Man of the Match...and BAMM, Madrid was level. Brilliant day at the Emirates. Hope tomorrow is just as good.
gunnerkid107
Hey how was it CR? The atmosphere sounded/seemed good with Mexican waves and stuff though it's raining and the ground wasn't full. AA = Awesome Arse!
GoonerLou
By the way the Ranger supporters were great, even though they don't even know their own team lol. I was disappointed to hear Reyes being booed, until he took down Traore, then I joined in the fun as well.
gunnerkid107
Hey Lou, yeah atmosphere was good today. I think we were just all pleased to see FOOTBALL again. We displayed all our usual passing, movement ,missed chances and the occasional ' keystone cops ' at the back. Shame not to see Vermaelen, but Rosicky was sharp and RVP is getting into the groove. Great applause for Sir Bobby, which EVERYONE joined in, so a big thank you to all the Gers fans. I still can't believe AA's second goal, and Jack Wilshere looks a bit ' tasty '. All in all, a nice run out for the boys, but was a bit surprised at the empty seats. Maybe they will be full tomorrow.
CockneyRich1
I forgot to mention that it was a nice change to see a great deal of effort fom all our forwards today. There was a distinct lack of lethargy, offsides and profligacy in front of goal. All those things were on display in Barnsley today I believe.
CockneyRich1
Anyone get an issue of the gooner? lol
gunner24
lol CR "Also, arise Sir Jack Wilshere. You, young man, are very good at football"... how very profound!
ArsenalRob
Sir Jack Wilshire: this guy played with the skills of Kaka, the trickery of Ronaldo and the high sense of Henry, I bow. Arise! All hail Sir Jack Wilshire!! Truely impressive stuff from the youngster. FranMerida was very good. Djourou was not bad until he and Gallas trid one offside trick too many. The Russian assasin leaved up to his name as usual, did nothing all game long util he saw his chance and took it clinically Clichie was back to his fast self. Eboue gave us some laughable moments. Rosicky was the master of the midfield and Denilson supported just about everyone. Eduardo showed us glimpses of his skills. All in all very impressive from the Arsenal. Makes you wonder how Arsene keeps building team after team on drawstrings.
phreddy
I'm disappointed to hear the boos for Reyes, I mean we are not talking about ashley cole or adebayor here, can't we be more gracious than that? But overall, Merida gave me hope, Wishere gave me the courage to dream, Rosicky provided me with cautious optimism and Arshavin - well, he simply made me believe.
Temasek
Sir Jack Wilshire reminds me so much of Messi the way how he drops his shounder to get past players as the ball sticks to his feet. But also his intelligence to hold his run, until the right moment. With Wilshere, Ramsey and Meida im looking forward to CC matches already.
gunner24
So it's not just me. I'm not insane to think we're actually pretty strong... I think we can challenge now. Adding 1-2 players would make us true contenders.
GoonerLou
Were strong but we definetly need defensive additions more so in midfield than anywhere else. The goal we conceeded showed that, no pressure on the guy at all when he slipped that pass through. Going forward we will be better than last year even without additions.
iceman10
You Gooners are so big headed - we have more than enough in our squad to take you today - our midfield is full of pace, flair, hardmen, wingers that are more than a match for your mob - the forwards we have 5 that are all different styles and can tear anyteam apart - the defence is missing 3 CD's hence Dave Weir but he is covered by Boogie and Whittaker - so bring it on and you will hear 10-12,000 Gers fans making the sort of noise you are meant to at a footie match LOL - by the way your Emirates Stadium is nice but is a Spanish copy and no wear near the standard of the 5* Ibrox Bouncy Castle - Rangers Till I die - Rangers 2 ASS-NIL 1 - I luv to wind you English up as you take it to heart - it's a bit o banter - Ranger for the Cup LOL
ChelseaGer
Again, very very interesting.
Tom14
Bloody hell it sounds like were playing the scottish Barcelona! All that in the squad and you got knocked out by Kaunas last year!
iceman10
wow... our attack is very, very good...
TPowell
Oh dear..expected more from Rangers Tut tut
ajwb
i absolutely loved that third goal
TPowell
Me too TP! I wish I could go to the Valencia match! That'd be the biggest test yet in pre-season if we're honest.
GoonerLou
if Jack keeps on developing at this pace he's truly going to world class player.
Armory
How wonderful to see Eduardo back and looking so sharp. I'd be so pleased if he's the star of our championship winning season. A top quality, tough and physical presence in the midfield is all this teams needs in my opinion. Someone like Mahmadou Diarra or something. And of course another central defender if Senderos goes.
Gooner_Vin
M Diarra is a shambolic player.
Tom14
I had to do a reading in church this morning from a passage in The Bible. A couple of lines, I think, must have been predicting the arrival of Jack Wilshere. I quote : " He will come to us in glory, and his kingdom shall have no end." Happy days.
CockneyRich1
Hahaa where's ChelseaGer now! Simply outclassed!!!
gunnerkid107
Anyone see the Bruno/Adebayor picture on the Gooner? Brilliant lol
gunnerkid107
yhyh loool thats the main reason i brought it. Also Rosicky looked in better shape than i thought. lol
gunner24
Does any one know if ESPN2 or any ESPNs in USA will be showing and EPL games? Or can any one tell me where I can watch games in usa apart from online and Fox sports because fox mostly shows MU and Liverpool but not arsenal which I think is stupid.
collow
Hello collow. Every Arsenal game is shown live in the USA. The games are either on FSC, like you mentioned, or on Setanta Sports. Setanta is still going in the States so EPL games will not be shown on ESPN. In fact no Arsenal game will be on ESPN because FSC bought the rights to the Champions League next year. Also both FSC and Setanta have online services for their channels if you cannot get them on your cable/satellite provider. Hope that helps.
gunnerkid107
Wow! What a Weekend of Football from the The Arsenal!!! I still can't believe that AA 2nd goal, I was sat just behind the corner flag,and watch that ball cross the line and I still can't believe the angle. It was pure Class, Thanks AA for a sight that will stay with me forever! As for Jack Wilshere, what can you say that has not already been said He was totally Brilliant in yesterday. Rangers fans helped with atmosphere their noise over the two days was impressive, so thanks to them for that. It was a pity that their players didn't show more on the pitch.
hackneyval
thanks gunnerkid107
collow
Here is some brand spanking new information for you collow. http://www.epltalk.com/espn-adds-premier-league-to-soccer-line-up/9899 US ESPN has taken advantage of Setanta's falterings and acquired two time slots from Setanta. So we will see the NLD in October in Hi-Def on ESPN.
gunnerkid107
 

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